China claims longest bridge over water with whopping 26-mile span

China, which already boasts the three longest bridges over land, just toppled the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana to take the belt for the longest bridge over water, too. The country is now home to an impressive 26.4 miles of bridge over the Jiaozhou Bay, but that's not even the craziest part.

Possibly more astounding than the fact that the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge is so long, is that it only took China four years to build it, with 10,000 workers and $8.5 billion backing the effort. The bridge will knock about 20 to 30 minutes off of the commute for workers commuting between the port city of Qingdao and the Huangdao suburbs, and is expected to see 30,000 cars rolling over it a day. That's a pretty poor minutes-to-dollars ratio, but from the sounds of it Qingdao is on the up-and-up and the addition of the bridge could boost the region's economy.

Of course, part of the problem with something this massive is making sure it stays up. The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge sits atop 5,200 columns and is designed to withstand anything from a 8.0 earthquake to a fierce typhoon.

The project is also being hailed as a distinctly Chinese success in engineering, as the bridge was completed with very little help from outside nations.

Oh, and for anyone wondering, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway in Louisiana, which was dethroned by the Qingdao Haiwan Bridge, is still no slouch at just under 24 miles in length.

Telegraph, via Engadget

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